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For Release: Tuesday, February 14, 2017

DEC to Host Public Information Session on Habitat Management Plans for Helmer Creek and West Cameron Wildlife Management Areas in the Towns of Cameron and Rathbone

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about recently completed habitat management plans for Helmer Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in the town of Rathbone and the West Cameron WMA located in the town of Cameron, Steuben County.

"DEC is dedicated to improving the recreational opportunities in the Helmer Creek and West Cameron Wildlife Management Areas so that residents and visitors have easier access to the vast natural resources these areas have to offer," said Regional Director Paul D'Amato. "We look forward to engaging with the public and hearing their feedback about ways to improve the hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities in the area."

The session will take place on Tuesday, February 28, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Valley School located at 6786 County Route 119, in Cameron Mills. An open house will take place from 6:30 - 7 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 7 p.m.

These WMAs are currently managed to provide a diversity of wildlife habitats, including hardwood and conifer forests, early-successional grasslands and shrublands, and several small ponds. DEC will continue active management on both Helmer Creek and West Cameron WMAs to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting and bird watching. Planned management activities include timber harvests to manipulate forest habitat diversity, mowing and prescribed burning to maintain fields, and the control of invasive plant species.

The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on these WMAs, specific activities and locations for the planned management actions, a brief overview of DEC's Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period.

The habitat management plan for Helmer Creek WMA can be found on DEC's website at and the habitat management plan for West Cameron WMA can be found at For more information about this event please contact DEC Biologist Michael Palermo at (585) 226-5383.

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